Are you looking for a novel that makes you feel the Christmas spirit and is loaded with lots of tasty treats, but also has a hidden depth? Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery is the book for you.
Polly is trying to keep up with the demands of the Christmas season with her bakery on the island of Mount Polbearne off of Cornwall. She lives in a lighthouse with her honey keeping American boyfriend Huckle. Huckle is ready to settle down and plan their wedding, but Polly can never seem to find the time. Polly gets into a pickle when she agrees with her best friend Kerensa to keep a big secret from Huckle and also when she finds out a secret from her past. With so many secrets in the mix, will Polly and Huckle be able to find their happy ending?
Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery is the third novel in the series after Little Beach Street Bakery and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery. I love the entire series and definitely recommend reading the first two books before picking this book up.
Things I love about this book and the series . . .
I love Polly. She is a plucky heroine who always finds the positive even with dealing with a bad lot in life. She starts the series at the end of a relationship and with no job, but is able to find a new beginning in Mount Polbearne. She’s always trying to help others, even if it means giving up her Christmas to bake to earn money to save the Puffin Sanctuary.
I love Mount Polbearne. It’s a beautiful island off the coast of Cornwall that is only accessible by a causeway when the tide is low. It’s a small town where everybody knows everybody, which can be good and bad for Polly.
I love all of the characters. Neil is Polly’s pet puffin and he’s a hoot. I love Huckle – he’s a laid back guy who is perfect for Polly. Their friends Reuben and Kerensa are fabulously rich, but are loyal through thick and think with problems of their own. And there are so many side characters in the village that I feel like I know them all.
I really loved how in this novel, it’s a fun story for the holidays, but it also has deeper undertones about the damage that keeping secrets can do on many different levels. I also loved the power of forgiveness that Polly shows in her life. I can’t say more without ruining the story, but I loved learning more about Polly’s back story.
My favorite quotes:
“That’s when friends need you more than ever. When something awful happens. And here’s the crucial thing: even if the awful thing that’s happened is your fault. Especially when it’s your own fault. Do you see?”
“As far as Doreen was concerned, it was inexplicable; living in a lighthouse was a ridiculous idea, and all in all, given how much she had sacrificed to raise Polly all by herself, the fact that she would throw it all away on some cakes, an American without a proper job and a bird was some source of sadness.”
“But if life teaches us anything, it’s that what we assume someone should know about us – even someone we really, really, love; especially someone we really, really love – can be completely misunderstood or overlooked, or that the silence we think contains so much is imply unobserved.”
“Because the thing was, she guessed, you always thought you had time – time to fix the relationships that had broken down; to do all the things you thought you’d get round to; to finish everything, tie it up with a neat bow and that was it. But life wasn’t like that at all. Things festered for years. Things that ought to be go over never were. Bitterness became a defining characteristic of people’s lives.”
Overall, Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery was a delightful novel that I couldn’t put down. It has an unbeatable mix of wonderful characters, a fantastic setting, baked goods, and a great storyline of what it means to love, be a family, and forgive. I highly recommend it.
Book Source: William Morrow in exchange for an honest review. Thank-you!